About the program
EstuaryWatch is a successful citizen science program that supports community members to actively participate in the monitoring of estuary health. EstuaryWatch volunteers are passionate about their local environment and enjoy meeting once a month to collect valuable data on the condition of their local waterway.
The EstuaryWatch program was established at the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority in 2006 in response to a groundswell of community interest and a lack of long term data on the condition of Victoria’s estuaries.
Today there are 18 estuaries monitored by EstuaryWatch groups in Victoria. These groups are supported by EstuaryWatch Coordinators at Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Corangamite CMA, Melbourne Water and West Gippsland CMA.
In each of the regions where EstuaryWatch is active, volunteer data has been used to inform better estuary management. Observations, photos and water quality data collected by EstuaryWatchers have been referred to as part of algal bloom, fish death and storm surge response and has been incorporated into estuary management plans, research projects and the decision support tool for artificial estuary openings in Victoria, the Estuary Entrance Management Support System (EEMSS).
The EstuaryWatch program has a sister program called Waterwatch. Waterwatch is an Australia-wide citizen science program that monitors water quality in rivers and streams. For more information about the Waterwatch program visit www.vic.waterwatch.org.au
What is citizen science?
Citizen science is scientific research conducted by volunteers. Why should you get involved in a citizen science program like EstuaryWatch?
- It connects you to people in your community with similar interests
- You get to collaborate with scientists and people who make decisions about your local environment
- You may have a unique skill set that adds value to a research project
- It gives you a sense of community and place
- Citizen science projects can collect large data sets in a short period time
- You can make a scientific discovery
- With good quality assurance and quality control, citizen science data can be just as good if not better that data collected by professionals
To find out more about EstuaryWatch in your region please contact us.